Monday, April 25, 2011

Singapore Woman Director Mun Chee Yong's Take on Surviving in Los Angeles

To listen to the podcast of this program, which is an Internet-only edition for the first part of the April 25, 2011 show because of a jazz program pre-empting the live show -- click
on: .

UPDATED 6 May 2011: Where the Road Meets the Sun has won two festival special jury awards: Gavin Kelly has won the festival's Special Jury Award, Narrative: Outstanding Cinematography. And the actors Eric Mabius, Fernando Noriega, Will Yun Lee and Luke Brandon Field have won the festival's Special Jury Award, Narrative: Best Ensemble Acting.

Takashi (Will Yun Lee) reflects on his memory loss in Where the Road Meets the Sun.

If ever there is a list of the top films that address the underside of Los Angeles, Mun Chee Yong's Where the Road Meets the Sun will surely be on that chart. A multicultural cast interact in various languages (mainly English) as they seek to survive on the rough streets of urbanized Los Angeles.

Not a documentary by any means, Mun Chee Yong's script casts four men whose lives intersect at a decrepit hotel as they live from day to day, job to job, interspersed with Guy's hetero liaisons mostly with sex workers.

Takashi, whose memory loss from a car accident enables him to experience a rebirth away from his gangster life back in Japan, is played by the dashingly convincing, Korean American actor Will Yun Lee who sometimes lapses into Japanese. He develops a friendship with Blake (Eric Mabius) the hotel manager. At the same hotel, Julio (Fernando Noriega), a Spanish-speaking undocumented worker from Mexico who works at an Indian restaurant, befriends fellow kitchen Brit packpacker/fellow worker Guy (Luke Brandon Field), who sports an authentic British accent. Blake struggles to make ends meet when both are unceremoniously fired from the restaurant (without collecting their pay)while Blake manages to hit his dad in England up for more dough.

It's a (male) buddy film with some of the hetero and tough guy jinks -- and one gets to see scenes of Silver Lake and other Los Angeles locales.

A Singapore/Indonesia/US co-production, the 93-minute film has just been released this year. The director is a LSE (London School of Economics) graduate in monetary economics, with an MFA degree in Film Production from USC.

UNFORTUNATELY THE SHOW IS PRE-EMPTED BY JAZZ so I'll post the interview online asap.
On KUCI Subversity program this evening, we talk in the first half-hour withdirector Mun Chee Yong about his latest film. A podcast will be posted later.

The film screens at Saturday night (10 p.m.) at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival at Laemmle's Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd (at Crescent Heights) West Hollywood, CA 90046. PARKING: Free for 3 hours with validation. See film schedule for more information:

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